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Gregory K Nelson Feb 2016
I saw last night
What you did to Ted Cruz,
"A lying baby leaning on a Bible."
That quote is masterful.
Is that why you spent all that time with Bubba?
It just occurred to me you might have learned a thing or two
hanging out with the most naturally gifted living politician in the world?
And maybe that's part of why you cultivated that relationship with the Clintons?
You ****** up some of his skills like a sponge didn't you Donald?
And you were also keeping your enemies close before they knew they were enemies,
You saw them blinded by the bubble,
Bumbling over egos,
And you saw the seas parting,
Left and right drowning beside you as You walked across to the promise land,
Legs of the future spread out in front of you
Weeping with yearning,
Glistening in the light at the end of the tunnel.

You have no idea what it will be like to be President.
And I know you know you might bankrupt the world.
You have failed at easier things, Sir.
We both know this,
And we both know you don't care.
You are going to **** this country one way or another.
Will it be romantic?

I'm guessing it will be more like
gray **** gonzo ****
On a gold plated VHS,
But maybe not.
If you have taught History anything,
And it's clear you are teaching that ***** a lesson,
A crash course in what Nietsche called
"The Will To Power."
If you have taught History anything it's that
You won't let her tell you what to do.

I hate to do it,
but I just got to love you brother,
Or at least let go of my sentimentality,
And admit you will likely win.
your style is so much more tacky and just plain pathetic than you will ever understand,

But your knife is true blue,
Like the spirit of Sinatra.

You trump it up,
**** it,
Bump it and dump it.
Then you take that money
And bake it and shake it.
Baby you were born to run.
Gregory K Nelson May 2015
I saw the best minds of my generation caged by the fears of their parents, organized for meaninglessness, and watching too much ****.

I saw you all around me kneeling to the angry God of television, and I knelt down with you.  

I saw the flames of our shared future burning down The Church, we held hands and danced around it, spun the bottle, and finally told the truth.

I saw myself lost and lonely among you, excusing myself for a cigarette.

I saw the aisles of the shopping center as the gateways to our dreams.

I saw twelve airplanes on the horizon, the disciples of a new race.

I saw little boys and girls staring at screens learning always learning that the world isn’t real.

I saw the sun rise like ribbons to burn The Poet.  She was sad and she laid her eyes upon the rocks and let the river flow until she finally felt the wet climbing up from her knees.

I saw you Little Girl, the night you found me, and took me out into the trees.

I heard you say, “Brave Boy, this is a good day but we'll find better days than these.”

I heard a Man sing about a thousand tongues broken, a newborn baby with wild wolves around it, and a mystery *****. He asked me "how do you feel?”

I heard a lullaby at sunset about rebel soldiers on the move.

I heard The Nun shouting the slogans we are afraid to write on signs.

I heard Caesar speaking from the other side of the Rubicon.  I was late and he wasn’t pleased.

I heard the sound of A Daughter ******* to the rumble of the unswept highway, the trucks the men the steel on steel, the knife, the lime, the tequila, and two sweat wet pillows

I met The Preacher in a lab coat and a **** star that was preaching the income gap.  Both conversations were boring.

I heard The Radio play Mozart to the smell of burning wood.

I heard The Night fall down.
I met the Devil by The Lake and I laughed my *** off as he pontificated on his role in History.  We tied the rope swing on a rotten limb and swung out high above the clear blue water, let go,  and fell in deep.

I met The Martyr that is trying to **** me.  He was such a sweet old man, so wise, so kind, his hand trembled involuntarily as he squeezed off a round.

I met The Politician that represents the deepest recesses of my conscience, and he ****** me just how I like it, but just a little different every time.

I met The Warrior at sunrise, chose a weapon, and died fighting for land that would never be mine.

I met The Lover on her barstool, laughed at her jokes, typed in her number, and strolled home smiling at the strangeness of her mind.

I met The Leader under his podium where he was hiding watching shoes.  He assured me everything i could see from there was part of a larger plan.

I met The Follower on an airplane.  We shared are snacks and watched the window, and discussed the name’s of strangers we wanted to be.

I charmed a Dancing Princess, laid her out like Ophelia in the river, bought her Mom a fancy car.

I scared The Fish out of the pond with a Mardi Gras mask and a six pack of beer.  They walked out of the water and hitch hiked to the nearest theater.

I lied to The Farmer when I told him I smelled rain.

I told the truth to The Doctor.  He just shook his head and made me wait.

I interviewed The Emperor on his way home from the office.  He squinted at me through the smoke and asked what I knew about moral philosophy.

I answered The Judge’s questions.  He asked about the birds above and the blood dripping from my eye, he asked what the final equation was, and whether I wanted to die.  I remained silent.

I forgot that Life is fragile, but wasn’t made to pay the price.

I learned that sooner or later God will **** us all, but I touched **** and *** with soul.

I stole privilege from the Gods of Mercy.

I gave The Girl a flower I picked along the way.

I burned the statue, but I saved the books.

I built a slick Death Temple for the ghosts of hermits and Marines.

I danced knowing I would never remember.

I lay down determined to forget it all, and rise the next day baptized sparkling clean, a child of forgotten violence, a leader of forgotten men.

I bought the last secret, and I bought the last machine too.

I sold the secret to the enemy so I could buy their loyalty.

I saved the Old Man from himself, all his frightening well learned ways, and I carried him up the mountain, and left him warming by the fire.

I killed The Child just because he was barking at the moon.

I was an animal lost on a race track.

I felt like a little boy lost, like my world could not be yours.

I saw blood smeared on the mirror of the penthouse bathroom and I heard a child scream, the help won't be here until Tuesday, we need the number for Mr. Clean.

I saw a college girl hitch hiking up I95, she was sad about her boyfriend, but she walked and walked and found another world.

I fell in love with a *****, and she fell in love with me back, and we held hands by the River and laughed about the Sorcerer who snored in his sleep.

I ran from the apartment, found a bar with a backyard, and disappeared into the New York City night, got lost in the subway and emerged street side less whole, more lonely, more aware, less alone.

I bargained with The Queen Of Hearts, but she would not bargain back. She just took my belt and shoelaces and assigned me a number.

I sweat through my dreams so I hung my shirt to dry above the Boardwalk in the morning, as shade for passers by.  I sat down to watch them walk, feel the sadness in their eyes.

I felt the breeze bang up against my brain like ice cream on the sand.  I groaned, vomited, put on my sunglasses, and took a stutter step no one could see.

I saw a wedding dress on the Internet balanced on a beam.  The hemline was appropriate.

I saw your husband on Facebook.  I didn’t like what I saw.

I asked Darwin to guess what exactly is in my pants.  He said he had never studied human beings.

I asked Darcy what was in her glass, she said she didn’t know but I could taste.

I asked Georgie if it was such a great idea to drop acid before he played football, he grinned and shook my hand.

I told Bobby his sneaker was untied, but he said the getaway went well.

I told Jerry I’d like to soothe his soul, but he said he does all the soothing now.

I told Mickey I was on my way, tumbling like a dry cycle that rips the chord, humming like a drunken hummingbird.

I took the shortcut all the way downtown to the black end of the street, strutted shyly to the corner of the bar, ordered expensive whiskey with three cubes of ice, sipped it slyly, pulled my piece, and shot that dumb ******* in the face.

There is no Love in an empty room, just like there is no God in space.

There is only your senses, what you hide beneath, your luck, and the path you make.

Death and Salvation have always been the same, do the math and take a drink.

Whoever is coming is angry, and She is coming sooner than we think.

I hid in my car in a parking lot on a rainy afternoon, closed my eyes and thought of her, the way she thought, and moved, and laughed.

Lit a cigarette and laughed to myself, “things can’t really be this bad.”

The Sun, The Moon, The Stars, The Snake seem to be part of the same thing.

But The River answers with a song about the tricks of destiny.

Dear God, I will never bow to thee until you get on your knees for me.

My hands are rough my feet are tired my Soul is full of hatred for The Sun.

When You turn around and see nothing there you will know that I am done.
Gregory K Nelson May 2015
GOD: "I am."
MOSES: "Me too."
SOCRATES: "So what?"
ALEXANDER: "What's next?"
CAESAR: "Why not?"
JESUS: "Watch this!"
MUHAMMAD: "Watch this, or else."
NAPOLEON: "Out of my way."
WASHINGTON: "On my signal and forward."
LINCOLN: "On my example."
******: "Love is cowardice."
FDR: "Justice finds a way."
GHANDI: "This is how."
KENNEDY: "Turn the page."
KING: "Wake up and believe …
Gregory K Nelson May 2015
I took of my shoes,
And then I took off my socks.
The driveway hurt under winter white feet, and the pounds I have put on
but the pain spoke of deliverance.
I felt delivered.
Dropped off like a beaten up brown box,
To this place, this time, this driveway, under this sun in this solar system, in this country, at this time.

My feet smelled like creeping death,
But my soul stretched.
God smiled.
The city yawned.
The people marched.
Kitty ate her breakfast.
Grass grew.
Cars glimmered, moved.

I found beer cheap,
And the sun revealed itself as the father of the clouds,
There all along watching.

The highway called me by another man's name,
But I went anyway.

I moved my right foot to the right peddle,
and swung the wheel left.
Gregory K Nelson Mar 2015
"There are monsters on the building," she said in the sad song of a West Texas drawl.  She sounded like she did when she talked in her sleep.  We had paused there to examine the doorway the way people do when they know something frightening and important will happen to them on the other side.  

Somehow the banality of the details seemed at odds with the profundity of the situation:  A hot breeze taunted us with the smell of garbage.  Pigeons did their stupid strut and pecked and **** on the sidewalk.  Manhattan pedestrians slogged past through the May heat wave in a sweaty river of hurried lives, each stranger a subtle hint that perhaps our pain wasn't so profound after all.  My own rivers of perspiration seemed to drive the point home.

Molly had more than once accused me of being attracted to the dramatic, and she was right.  In response to this weakness, this juvenile habit of seeing myself as a hero in the story of my life rather than just another person in the world, the God I still half believed in seemed to be punishing me with mundane aggravation as we prepared to defy him:  crowded subways, humidity that pressed in from all sides, growing stains in my armpits.  Now that we had reached the building the half-believed God added a master stroke of lewdness.  Squatting on the threshold of our destination were a pair of gargoyles [cement artistic tradition combined with superstition] that peered down at us with obscene toothy grins.  

Molly tugged on my damp fingers, and asked again,  "Greg, why are there monster's on the building?" Her eyes seemed both accusatory and desperate for affection, but her voice was sleepy, like she was trying to pretend it was all just a dream.

"I don't know," I said.  "It doesn't matter."

It was true.  It didn't matter accept as a symbol in a story that somewhere deep in my mind I was shamefully conscious I would someday write.  Disgusting but unavoidable for the boy I was at 19, a boy who wanted to be important someday, wanted to be important by being "a writer," and didn't see how he could ever be anything else.  

"Write what you know" they say, but I was just an upper middle class white kid, nothing important had ever happened to me.  This was important.  This was life and death.  Most of me lived it but part of me watched from outside.

We went inside and found the elevator, then the waiting room.  I held her left hand while she filled out the forms with her right.  I told her I loved her, trying to say it like a transcendent spiritual truth that could make all the facts of our situation irrelevant and sweep them off somewhere they didn't matter.  

Then a nurse came and took her away.  

It offended me that despite the life and death business conducted behind the wall, the waiting room looked just like any other.  Maybe worse.  Worn out office furniture in generic shades of brown.  Stacks of magazines that looked like they had been procured second hand from some cleaner pricier office where happier people sit and smile about life while they fill out forms and wait.

I glanced around the room, careful to avoid eye contact.  There were two other men, one white one black, both looking sad and dejected, staring into space, thinking of the women in that other room I just like me I figured, wishing there was something they could do.  

I selected a magazine with half its cover missing.  Celebrities at a party.  Celebrities at the beach.  I put the magazine down.

I should be feeling more than this, I thought, and that thought seemed shameful too.

It was still a question about me.  The pathetic existential question that has always gnawed my television generation:  Why can't I just be real?  The question brought more shame.  Why are you asking these questions?  This inner monologue  ...  they are killing your son in there!  They are ripping him out of the girl you love.  Shut up and just feel!  Or don't feel, and just shut up.  

Searching myself for sadness I found again a numb disgust for being outside myself and looking in.  

I thought of praying but an image came to me of Jesus struggling to carry his cross up a hill.  He was being chased by His Father who took the form of the God of old paintings, a long white beard, muscled body, the eyes of a tyrant. God was leading an angry mob, scaring Jesus up the hill to his death, screaming at Him:  "This is what my son was meant for!  You don't have any other choice!"  It was not the sort of image I hoped prayer would inspire.

Finally I arrived at the thought I was avoiding:  Molly crying on a cold table, machines inside her, everything happening too fast.  I had asked if I could go with her and hold her hand.

"No," the nurse had said with a touch of scorn, like the question was not just dumb, but an insult to women everywhere.  Why would she let the guilty party make things worse?

A few yards away there were doctors working machines inside the womb of the only girl I had ever loved, taking the life of a child I would never know.  But even if I had wanted to stop them, which I didn't, it was too late now.  

It was the first life and death decision either of us would make, and even though I would try to console her with the idea that we had chosen life, our own lives, our own futures, right or wrong, I knew we had also chosen death for our first child. Death always brings sadness, and despite whatever happiness we might still enjoy in the years to come, this sadness would would linger with us, in some form, forever, unless we came together to conceive another child and raise it.  This is not what Jesus told me.  This is what I told him.  He listened but he didn't seem to care.  He had no time for *******.

Molly appeared in the doorway to the back rooms where I had not been allowed to go with her.  I would have liked to go with her back there.  I would have held her hand, made her know that we were doing it together, that I was equally if not more culpable in this death than her, and if that were not possible, and it probably was not, at least I could have held her hand.            

But I was not allowed back there.  She went through it alone with strangers all around her speaking in professionally sensitive tones.
I put down the magazine and went to her.  Her face was blotchy, and there was still dampness in her eyes.  She had been crying for awhile and she was crying still.  A nurse's hand was on her shoulder.
"She was very brave,"  the nurse said, like Molly was a four year old who had just made it through her first hair cut without squirming.
"Will she be okay?"
"Yes, but now you need to take her home so she can rest."
The nurse disappeared.  I held Molly, and kissed her forehead, and told her how much I loved her and always would.  She did not speak and her body felt lifeless in my arms.  I led her back to the elevator and then out into the Manhattan bustle.  The humid heat had reached its most brutal hour, and I began to sweat immediately as we walked towards the subway.
We passed a deli.  I asked if she was hungry and she nodded.  I went inside and used the little money I had to buy a sandwich and two bottles of juice and we found a bench in the shade and sat there to eat.  She ate a little and drank some of her juice and then finally
"It was a spot."
"It was a spot.  They showed me.  It was a little black spot on a screen."
"It's okay, Molly  It's going to be okay," I lied.
"It was my little girl, but she was just a spot.  They showed me and then they took her away forever."
"I love you.  I love you so much."  It was true and all I could think to say and it didn't help much.
I brought her downtown to the financial district where I was staying that Summer in an NYU dorm with a friend from High School.  We were there to take film classes together.  Our parent's had allowed us to spend extra on the best housing, and the dorm we stayed in was actually an apartment on the 14th floor of a building with a doorman across from South Street Seaport.  It had a kitchen, high ceilings, and huge windows with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge, and even a
separate bedroom.  Fortunately Rick had allowed me the private room so he could have the larger one with the view and the television, so there was a place for Molly and I to go behind a locked door and lay down.

We got in the little bed together and curled into a combined fetal position.  I kissed the back of her neck and she took my hand and placed it on her pelvis where I could feel the bandage rustling under her sweatpants.
"Can you feel it?"
"Everything will be all right," I almost said, but it felt like garbage on the tip of my tongue and I had not yet grown used to lying except to myself.

I hadn't known there would be a bandage.

"Yes.  I can feel it,"  I said.  This, at least, I knew was true.

I lay there with her like that with my hand where our child had
grown for a few weeks and we fell asleep.

When I awoke, the room was gray with dusk, and Molly was snoring peacefully.  I got out of the bed carefully without disturbing her, sat at my desk, and opened my favorite drawer.  There was my small purple glass pipe, and a little baggy stuffed with the high quality marijuana that in my experience, you can only find in New York City, the Pacific Northwest and American Colleges.  I filled the pipe, lit it, and pulled hard, holding it in as long as I could and then coughing intentionally on the exhale for the fullest effect.  I repeated the process until the bag was nearly empty, lit a cigarette, and sat at the desk with my feet up, looking back and forth from the
high rise across the street to the young woman in my bed, contemplating life and love and God and the future.  

In that moment, high as I was on the drug and the city and the relief of having made it through the day, it truly did seem that everything would be all right.

I had taken to writing poetry a few months before, and I found a
piece of paper and began to write another:

God sat in the abortion clinic waiting room
while they killed his only son.
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
"I don't know.  It seemed like the right thing to do."
I thought I had the beginnings of a very good poem.  I hoped maybe, someday, somehow my poetry might change the way people thought about things.  I was young and stupid and ****** and my mind was about to crack open completely and let forth a torrent of strangeness.

I was very sad.

Gregory K Nelson Feb 2015
Because the light from a tired sun shines off the moon onto lovers and the lonely alike.

Because love pumps through your body red and alive and you try to ride the beam.

Because your soul is a blade forged in questions of life and death, scarred by the blades of others, and passed down forever.

Because the way she looks in tight jeans is an ache that will always stretch on, the sublime torture of it, the ecstasy of skin on skin, the sweet safety of holding a sleeping girl.

Because sadness is a raindrop, inevitable, falling from the heavens unbidden and spreading its wings to fly.

Because the man in the arena hacks, spits, and stands in the dust and motions madly for another round.

Because night surrenders each morning, and there will, thank God, be coffee, and work to do and people to talk to.

Because the cool breeze on your face as the sun rises over the ocean.

Because wolves hunt and **** by instinct, and dogs can seem to smile.

Because the road goes past the horizon and you can feel it in your groin.

Because silence cannot be heard while we are still alive.

Because her smile.

Because the child.

Because the wild.

Because the next question.

Because the day.
Gregory K Nelson Jul 2014
How does the debt effect the economy now?

What would Jesus do? 

He would intentionally get some folks to execute him in the one of the most painful ways imaginable.  What can you do like Jesus would do?

Jesus walked into the desert without food or water for forty days and forty nights.  Would you do that? 

When he was out there Jesus thought God was talking to him but it was really Satan pretending to be God.  Jesus figured this out by letting go of his pride completely and being willing to suffer through unspeakable to sacrifice himself for Mankind.  Could you do that?

Is Satan talking to you right now?

Do you feel a little angry?

Are *** and violence connected in our genes?

Do the stars have souls that burn?

What terrors haunt your dreams at night?

Is your love enough to save you?

What is the first thing you remember.

For what principle would you fight?

Would Jesus dig Rock-n-Roll?

Can you really know what is a lie?

Will it be sunny again tomorrow?

Will I make it through the night?

Can you feel my kisses softly up inside your soul?

Since when does might make right?

— The End —